A priest was forced to abandon an Ash Wednesday mass yesterday – after 30 of his parishioners had their foreheads burned by the blessed ashes.Fr Eugene Baker had given out the ashes to everyone in the congregation when they started to complain about a burning sensation.
He was forced to stop the mass in St Joseph’s Church in Newtownshandrum in north Cork and advise the congregation to go into the church sacristy and wash the ashes off.
Fr Baker told independent.ie that he is surprised by the anomaly and he apologised to his parishioners.
He has sent the ashes to the public health laboratory in St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork for testing.
My only Lenten accident was a few years ago when the old fellow giving ashes need more practice at the target range...